WWII November 1943, The Battle Of Tarawa. One of the bloodiest & most ferocious battles of WWII when the U.S Marines fought the Japanese on the small island nation of Kiribati in the Pacific. I have been fortunate enough to spend some time in Kiribati & stood on this very beach. A humbling & emotional experience.
Today, Tarawa is completely spoiled with pollution. It’s really a sad sight to see. But at low tide, it’s amazing to look out at the coral reef and see all of the old war relics still sitting on the surface. Rusted tanks and battleships litter the sea and high caliber gun bunkers rest on the shorelines, covered with odd local graffiti. I would walk the coast line and imagine the horror that took once took place beneath my footprints.
I had a volunteer in my group stationed on the island of Butaritari. He found a Marine’s dog tags in the sand and sent them to the US Embassy in the Marshall Islands. They were able to track down the soldier’s family and his grandchildren flew out for a memorial ceremony. Those dog tags were the only remains they ever found of their grandfather.